Design Authority – Part one

21 10 2007

At my presentation this year at Web Directions South I spoke briefly about the role of the Design Authority.

I’ll start this off by saying that there is in my mind, not one role that is defined by Design Authority.

There are in fact three.

The differentiating factor being the context and therefore your viewpoint.

Programme Design Authority:

This Design Authority is single point of truth for the design of a Programmes outcome configuration. Programmes deliver benefits to an organisation or entity. The projects that are children to the Programme, are responsible for delivering the capability that will deliver the benefits that are sought after by the Programme.

In the program me context, the Design Authority marshals what capabilities are required to deliver the benefits, and subsequently the outcomes from the sub-projects.

Over time, through feedback from the sub projects the Design Authority will monitor the development and the alignment of those projects with the parent capability requirements (or Capability Profile)

Enterprise Design Authority:

Similar to a Programme Design Authority, however the Enterprise Design Authority, holds a persistent or lasting role. Programmes have endings, much like projects (duh because of their implicit relationship). The Enterprise Design Authority preserves the Enterprise business intent, and provides design assurance for the programmes of work within the enterprise.

Visual Design Authority:

This is the role that is more common around the traps and would be familiar to anyone working in a development house.

The Visual Design Authority is the role that is responsible for the design strategy, as it relates to all things visual or interactive. This includes aspects like how the visual appearance evolves of a website, or what methodologies are in place for the design of interactivity or business processes, whether or not information architecture principles are applied and how and when and by whom.

Everyone needs to set up their Design Authority in the way that best suits the purpose. The term design means different things to different people, hence since I come from more than one place (being both the interface design, enterprise design space) I can see both points of view.

Why I like the concepts around the Design Authority is that it disambiguates where the assurance responsibility lies. In many contexts this role can be very useful, especially in terms of assuring alignment of effort outputs with the original vision, and in terms of providing consistency and stability in terms of visual design output and approach.

Even for small business this can be useful, because where resources are limited and time is short, wasted effort that isn’t true to the original goal can be expensive and sometimes crippling.

Within the private web development field I would even actually say that the concepts behind a Design Authority, could hold a lot of value (from a visual design authority view) in terms of a Quality Assurance Regime. Where the outputs of a development team can be independantly reviewed against the original or captured client intent, which ALWAYS looks good.

I’ll endeavor to post again about the role of the configuration manager, who enables the requirements of the Design Authority through managing the configuration of the programmes efforts.

This Design Authority role is ever expanding particularly as there is more and more rapid work or agile work being done in the software / web development space. In light of that, if you would like to pitch a question about what a Design Authority role could do for you, or if you want to comment on how you use a Design Authority already, I’d love to hear from you.

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Web Directions South 2007

29 09 2007

Waterfall and macbook pro 

Well what a show!

Big show everyone, I had a fantastic time socialising and learning and getting all inspired by the amazing array of quality presentations.

I’ve taken the opportunity to post to flickr update profiles, get a twitter account and post up a slideshare of the slide pack WITH NOTES for anyone interested in what I was discussing.

For those of you who either didn’t get the chance to attend, or had questions or comments, please feel free to contact me via my facebook or twitter or even the old fashion way if you have my other details.

I’d be more than happy to discuss the issue of agile and waterfall integration or lack there of, or anything really if it will open up the gates for getting more success to those who need it.

Thank you once again for everyone for your comments (plus’ and negatives) they all go to a good cause…. not making the next presentation painful. 





Ping pong and fond meme’s

29 08 2007

Good golly goshkins!I’ve been pinged, ponged, tagged, memmed to within an inch of my life!!!Serves me right I guess, for not blogging as much as I used to. Side effect of getting caught up in the work. I suppose.Well, as many of my good friends mention including but not limited to:

have reminded / hacked on me, I’ve been abscent from the blogsphere for a little while. So as penance, I’m writing something in the vain hope that I’m going to redeem myself.Anyway, Regarding Web Directions 2007, there’s now a top little side activity running! The great Web Directions 07 photo meme!So if you were there as many top end web techs were, dig up a photo of yourself and get tagging!And to make me not completely hipocritical… here’s mine Thanks Ruthy.And who can forget this old chessnut?Lastly there’s this one, it’s a golden one for me. God bless my missus for taking the photo. She loves me.pre-Web Directions Port80 meet upCourtesy Miles Burke’s Blog, I’m now aware of this little gathering, and I’d like to officially say there WILL be at least one speaker turning up.Details are available from Miles’ blogHope you’re all happy now.P.S. Thanks very much for the comments so far, keep them coming I promise I won’t put you on the spot…. too much.





Read it? Listen to it. :)

3 06 2007

Well well well, the funniest thing happened to me the other day. I was sitting around reading about how AWESOME Chuck Norris is, and BAM! I gets me an email from my friends over at Webdirections.org.Webdirections logoLooks like you’re all in for a real…er…”treat”, I’ll be waxing lyrical about all things agile, waterfall, Prince 2 et al.I’ll be diving into the deep-end into the world of agility, expanding the use of the reference to beyond simple project management, and moving it into a cultural lifestyle of team and personal behaviours.To mix it up, I’ll be weaving that into how an agile component can work within a rigored portfolio management framework, and actually contribute positively rather than fight with the structure and form of a hardened environment.In lay terms…. throwing a cat into a pool and watching it swim.Oh, and for those of you who have been sending me emails reminding me that I have a blog… Thank you. Once again, I let work get the better of me, and I’ve neglected my entries…again.I’ll write again tomorrow.